An optimization procedure is developed to address the complex problem of designing prop-rotors in high speed cruise. The objectives are maximization of the aerodynamic efficiency in high speed cruise and minimization of the total rotor weight. Constraints are imposed on aeroelastic stability in cruise and rotor thrust. An isotropic box beam is used to model the principal load carrying member in the blade. Design variables include blade sweep and twist distributions, rotational velocity in cruise, and the box beam wall thickness. Since the optimization problem is associated with multiple design objectives, the problem is formulated using a multiobjective formulation technique known as the Kreisselmeier-Steinhauser function approach. The optimization algorithm is based on the method of feasible directions. A hybrid approximate analysis technique is used to reduce the computational expense of using exact analyses for every function evaluation within the optimizer. The results are compared to two reference rotors, unswept and swept. The optimum result shows significant improvements in the propulsive efficiency in cruise and reductions in the rotor weight without loss of aeroelastic stability or thrust, when compared to the reference unswept rotor. The swept reference rotor is initially unstable and the optimization procedure has been successful in producing a blade design which is fully stable with significant improvements in efficiency and blade weight. Off-design studies performed indicate that the optimum rotor maintains high propulsive efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Modeling and Simulation
- Computer Science Applications